Just When You Got Used to the Old TSA Screening Rules, Here Are New Ones

If your upcoming travel plans mean a trip through a Transportation Security Administration hand luggage-screening queue, you’ll want to leave extra time to make your flight.

TSA just announced it has completed its rollout of enhanced screening procedures for carry-on baggage at airports throughout the country.

Many travelers already knew this was coming since TSA has been slowly implementing the procedures for months.

From now on, all travelers should expect to have to pull electronics out of their bags for X-ray inspection, including laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld games.

You’ll also need to haul out all your food and “any materials that can clutter bags and obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine.”  

The good news is that the rules on what you can take on board with you haven’t changed. In addition to electronics, you’re permitted to take a quart-size bag of liquids, gels, creams and pastes through TSA checkpoints.

Just be prepared to take basically everything out of your carry-on bag if a TSA officer needs a better look at what you’ve got with you. (Don’t forget to grab everything when you’re done.)

Of course, you can get around all this rigmarole by applying for TSA PreCheck. Eighty-five bucks gets you a five-year membership to the program, and you won’t have to remove your shoes, laptops, liquids, belts or light jackets.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She thinks TSA PreCheck is the bee’s knees.